Discover the fascinating & rich history of the country of Holland, also known as The Netherlands.

Mausoleum of William the Silent in the Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, The Netherlands
Famous Dutch People
Detail of the Mausoleum of William the Silent in the Nieuwe Kerk, Delft.
More information about this photo: Detail of mausoleum of William the Silent, Nieuwe Kerk, DelftMausoleum of William the Silent, Nieuwe Kerk, Delft


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Famous Dutch People

Holland Short Information Sheet:

Though Holland is a little country, and has had to fight for her existence against mightier nations and her enemy the sea, yet she is the mother of many of the greatest people the world has known in every branch of art and knowledge. You have seen that she had fine men as leaders of her forces on sea and land. Of Dutchmen celebrated in literature, there was Erasmus, Grotius and Boerhaave were other great writers.

Thomas a Kempis, the inspired young monk who wrote the "Imitation of Christ" was a Dutchman. Father Cats, who wrote during the latter part of the 16th century and the early part of the 17th, was a Dutch author who is still continually mentioned and quoted. He is principally known by his proverbs, his fables, and his amusing little stories, each of which has a moral. He wrote almost entirely for the people.

Holland has given birth to far more than her fair share of painters of genius. Amongst the earliest painters are the great religious artists Memling and Van Eyck. They belong to what is known as the Flemish School. In the 16th and 17th centuries Holland owned many artists of the first rank, whose works are admired all over the world. One of them was Jan van Schorel, who died in 1538, and who painted some wonderful pictures of a procession of pilgrims who travelled from Holland to Jerusalem in the 16th century. Another was Frans Hals, who has no rival in painting, if we except Rembrandt. Frans Hals was a very jovial, overweighted man, who had plenty of money, many children, and a wife as fat and good-natured as himself. Jan Steen was another of the same kind. He painted for his amusement. And of course Rembrandt van Rhjn, born at Leyden in 1606, Holland's greatest painter.

Holland Information Cloud:

William of Orange, Hugo Grotius, Erasmus, Admiral De Ruyter

William the Silent, Prince of Orange

William of Orange is considered Pater Patriae, "Father of the Fatherland”, as the acknowledged founder of The Netherlands.

Michiel Adriaanszn de Ruyter

Michiel de Ruyter is one of the most famous Dutch naval admirals in history. De Ruyter is known for his role in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century.

Hugo Grotius (Hugo de Groot)

Grotius lived from 1583 to 1645 and had the first improtant writings on international law. He wrote his most famous work "On the Law of War and Peace" in France as an excile.


Gerrit Gerritzoon, better known as Desiderius Erasmus was born in the year 1467 in Rotterdam.

Oliver van Noort

Oliver van Noort was the first Hollander to circumnavigate the world. He left Rotterdam in the year 1598, and returned via the East Indies in 1601. His voyages inspired the Dutch to send out other ships and expeditions.

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